Art Gallery: Portraits of Women Without Children

Contrasting self-portraits by women without children with the stereotypical representation associated with childlessness

From self-portraits to critical depictions, this virtual gallery highlights the contrasting ways in which women without children are viewed and perceived. An in-depth look into caricatures, satire, and stereotypes is also available here.

Detail from An Old Maid, Treating a Favorite Cat to a Duck and Green Peas, 1792. Yale Center for British Arts – Public Domain
Rosalba Carriera, A Self-Portrait (c. 1745) © Royal Collection Trust
An Old Maid’s Nursery, 1811. Met Museum – Public Domain
Detail from My Lady Is a Widow and Childless, c.1874, by Marcus Stone. © Walker Art Gallery, Liverpool, released as CC BY-NC.
Adélaïde Labille-Guiard, Self-Portrait with Two Pupils (1785). MET Museum – Public Domain
Pan Yuling, Self-portrait (1940) © AnHui Museum
Detail from Origin and Development of a Suffragette
Catherine Palczewski Postcard Archive
Frida Kahlo, Self-portrait wearing a velvet dress (1926) © Museo Frida Kahlo

For more on the subject of caricatures and stereotypes of women without children (unmarried or married)